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November 11, 2015

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Shanghai’s vice mayor in graft probe

SHANGHAI Vice Mayor Ai Baojun has been put under investigation on suspicion of serious discipline breaches, the Communist Party's disciplinary watchdog said yesterday.

The 55-year-old is also a member of the standing committee of the Communist Party of China's Shanghai Committee, and a director of both the Shanghai free trade zone and the Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone, where the new Disney theme park is being developed.

Shanghai Party Secretary Han Zheng described the news as "heartbreaking,"but said he supported the investigation.

"It is heartbreaking that Ai has been put under investigation for alleged involvement in serious discipline violation,"he told a meeting of the Party's Shanghai committee convened to report on the issue.

"Every Party member and leader should reflect deeply on and learn from the case and take it as a grave warning. Government officials must be role models and regulate themselves, their relatives and staff,"he said.

"Fighting corruption is tough, and we must have zero tolerance of any violation,"Han said.

Ai, who hails from northeast China's Liaoning Province, started his working career in 1983 as an accountant at the former Northeastern University of Technology.

He joined Shanghai Baosteel Group in 1994, where he worked until 2007, serving in various roles, including vice director of the group's financial department and chairman of Baoshan Iron & Steel Co. He was elected vice mayor of Shanghai in December 2007.

He was last seen in an official capacity on Friday at the China International Industry Fair.
Ai is the most senior Shanghai official to be investigated for corruption since Chen Liangyu, then-Party chief, was jailed for 18 years for bribery in 2008.

Dai Haibo, a deputy secretary-general of the city government, was dismissed from his post earlier this year following an investigation by the Party's anti-corruption watchdog.


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